Active reading + Q/A + Text-to-Speech
After struggling several weeks reading books, RFCs, Cisco doc, watching INE videos and others, i found that the following method is very efficient to really learn all that content:
1. first pass: read chapters / watch video quickly to get a first idea of the structure and content.
2. deep pass: read/watch video carefully, taking note of every details. Notes are formulated as question/answer (q/a) for every single noteworthy matter. q/a should be brief and clear, well formed sentences with a carefull wording.
3. generate an epub of the q/a notes. One set of note (document) per topic (OSPF, EIGRP, BGP...)
4. listen to/repeat the q/a documents all the time using text-to-speech:
To have the screen read out loud to you, swipe down with two fingers from the top to the bottom.
-The apple echosystem is quite helpful for that learning method:
-q/a notes written in MacOS Pages => iCloud => iOS Pages => ePub export => iBooks => text-to-speech.
-the speed of the text-to-speech reader can be set to a slower mode so it is easier to repeat actively while hearing/reading.
-Having a document layout with 1 q/a per side makes it handy to reward/forward with the prev/next controls of the text-to-speech when needed.
-One can also let the reader ask the question, hit pause to answer outloud, then play the written answer.
-There are few tweaks to make the spoken text sound nicer, for example the reader will pronounce 220.127.116.11 much nicer if written 2/24/0/0/10, or using capital letter to have the reader spell acronyms.
Hope it helps or at least gives ideas to further develop your own efficient learning method.
PS: the question/answer technique was suggested by Petr Lapukhov in this inspiring post: http://blog.ine.com/2009/03/22/how-to-study/
The question/answer technique his known to stimulate critical thinking and has sort of an history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socratic_method